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A site map shows the boundaries of a proposed 16-acre rezoning at Ozark Technical Community College and its Industry Transportation and Technology Center, which is set for an eastward expansion.
SBJ graphic by Wes Hamilton
A site map shows the boundaries of a proposed 16-acre rezoning at Ozark Technical Community College and its Industry Transportation and Technology Center, which is set for an eastward expansion.

OTC asks city for consistent zoning

Posted online

Last edited 12:10 p.m., March 13, 2018

Ozarks Technical Community College is looking to rezone acreage to help pave the way for a budgeted multimillion-dollar expansion of its diesel mechanics program.

On Monday night, Springfield City Council reviewed a proposed rezoning of 16 acres encompassing the OTC campus south of Central Street. Council on March 26 will vote on the proposal.

The acreage currently includes residential, commercial and manufacturing districts. Springfield Planning & Development Director Mary Lilly Smith told council the proposed rezoning would consolidate the zones into a single government institutional district.

“That will allow for continued development of the campus,” Smith said.

Rob Rector, vice chancellor of administrative services for OTC, said the expansion project has a roughly $2 million budget, funded by a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant and matching private and college funds.

Stephanie Sumners, chief of staff and executive director of the OTC Foundation, said the project would expand OTC’s Industry Transportation and Technology Center to the east toward National Avenue, adding more than 12,000 square feet of space.

“We’re still going through our final plans right now,” Rector said, noting final project costs remain in the works.

Rector said the college is planning a May groundbreaking on the expansion, with plans to finish the work by spring or fall 2019.

The diesel program serves about 115 students. The expansion would allow the program to teach an additional 50 students, said OTC Strategic Communications Specialist Laura French.

The college will dub the expansion the MHC Diesel Training Center, named after the project’s lead donor, Leawood, Kansas-based Murphy-Hoffman Co. The company that was founded in Springfield operates more than 100 trucking dealerships, transport refrigeration locations and leasing and rental operations.

The diesel center project is separate from OTC’s proposed $20 million Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Technology.

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